Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Alternative Comedy Memorial Society - "a noble failure!"

It pains me to call the (breathe) Alternative Comedy Memorial Society (incorporating The Captain Planet Repertory Theatre Company) a "noble failure" when it was, undoubtedly, a success. But that was the tagline for the evening, and who am I to deviate from the numerous guidelines set down by our comperes, John-Luke Roberts and Thom Tuck, who also gave us pre-approved heckles including "I appreciate what you're trying to do."

While I plugged ACMS in a (semi) professional role for British Comedy Guide, I certainly didn't attend in that capacity - I went because *any* comedy fan would be giddy at the prospect of a line-up that included William Andrews, Terry Saunders, David McNeill, Nadia Kamil and headliner Tony Law, in addition to Messers Tuck and Roberts. But hey, my enthusiasm does have a tendency to transmit to my typing hand, so here are the inevitable few words in celebration of this new comedy night.

The idea behind the club is to be deliberately off-kilter, giving comics the chance to try out new material and unusual ideas - for instance, John-Luke and Nadia are not allowed to perform together as they're an established double-act and "that would be cheating." There are bonus features too, from a "jingle monkey" providing musical interludes to food testing (this week: salted chocolate ice-cream) and all the acts coming together to perform an episode of Captain Planet.

Then there's the more conventional fare of comedians doing stand-up, and that was all rather brilliant too. Nat Luurtsema, Thomas Craine and Dan Antopolski have a great thing going as sketch group Jigsaw and William Andrews (in his regular "Has A Thing On His Head" spot) was, as ever to be honest, inspired. Kudos also to Tom Bell, who did his bit for International Women's Day by offering pieces of "not-for-girls" Yorkie bars to the women in the audience. And Tony Law - well he just makes you ache from laughing.

It was, all in all, pretty special, singular stuff - luckily there are lots more chances to attend.


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